Why Small Nonprofits Stay Small Nonprofits

Ever question why small nonprofits stay small nonprofits


Are you the Voice in your nonprofit, or are you merely an echo of whatever everyone else is doing in your nonprofit area?

 Do you lead from the front or push from behind?


I’ve played in the big pond and also in the little pond. I have been a fortune 100 executive leader and a leader and founder of a small nonprofit. Having been in both ponds I’ve learned that small nonprofits stay small...because they think small.

They see themselves as small and therefore make their decisions accordingly. They see the future from a small lens, not a wide lens. They focus on what they don’t have instead of focusing on what they do have and can create more of. I have been there, it is very easy to do. But, when that is done the future turns out small as well. The truth is we can only create from the lens and the filter we view life through.

If you are a small nonprofit leader{donations under 2 million} and want to break outside the box then please contact us. 

We focus on helping small nonprofits become big nonprofits. 

Growth doesn’t start with programs or donations or more staff. It starts with changing the thinking of the Leader.

At Ideas Institute Atlanta we are not all things to all people. My coaching or mentoring focus is solely on nonprofit founders or Executive Directors.

Steve is a LinkedIn inPro in nonprofit leadership consultant. Contact him via LinkedIn Pro or directly at Director@IdeasInstituteAtlanta.com.

“Helping leaders create extraordinary outcomes”

Ideas Institute Atlanta Coaching Expertise Areas.

  • Thinking outside the box.
  • Moving beyond one’s comfort zone.
  • Visioning possibilities.
  • Developing leadership.
  • Cause Marketing
  • Branding
  • Public Speaking.
  • Communications via publishing a book, building a leadership expert platform, becoming a local thought leader in your field.


Steve is a results driven, caring person. Steve has a great work ethic and great nonprofit marketing and visual astuteness when it comes to business. Whatever he touches turns to gold. It is a great honor to know Steve is wise, kindhearted and considerate.- M.C

Engaging Steve Monahan as my business mentor has been very beneficial for me. I made some major changes in my life. Steve quickly helped me get my answers His marketing input has been invaluable. I am now a member of his Ideas institute Atlanta Mastermind. – S.R

 Steve is a warm and compassionate human being. With vision and wisdom leading his way, Process oriented, attention to detail, and results driven are only a few of the many attributes Steve has in his arsenal. Never letting his focus stray from task at hand, Steve is a valuable mentor that every person should have the pleasure of knowing. -J.C.

I met Steve on LinkedIn when I was compelled to connect with him after I read some of his intelligent and provocative articles on animal welfare. He is as compassionate, gracious and fierce about what he believes as are his articles. He has a generous spirit that is as contagious as is his generous smile. Steve tirelessly creates ideas to further his vision while attracting like-minded support and talented people. And his sense of urgency reflects his commitment to making a positive difference through his outreach/advocacy/educating.- C.M.


Why Small Nonprofits Stay Small Nonprofits

Why Small Nonprofits Stay Small Nonprofits



3 Million Blogs Every Day How to Get Noticed?

3 Million Blogs Every Day How to Get Noticed? With a number like 3 million * how does one get noticed? Well, according to Feldman Creative.com and Buzzsumo here are the top 6 ways blogs got noticed in 2016.

  • * Blog Posts Source. The data on total number of blog posts published every day in the world is displayed on Worldometers’ counter and is based on the latest statistics on worldwide blog activity published by Technorati.


3 Million Blogs Every Day How to Get Noticed?

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Ideas Institute Atlanta.com

3 Million Blogs Every Day How to Get Noticed?


3 Million Blogs Every Day How to Get Noticed?




Preaching to Your Own Business Choir

Do you spend your marketing money preaching to your own business choir?…your current customers.

You gotta get to your target audiences when they are online before they’ve been driven to visit your website.

To do it use top-funnel programs such as display and social advertising, PR, and trade shows, you’re able to begin positioning your brand in prospects’ minds before they’re ready to look for a business vendor.

Sending email to current clients is preaching to your own choir.

Starting a Business – What My 3 Pound Premature Born Son Taught Me

 Today’s article is about starting a business and what my premature born, 3 pound son taught me.

My son Christopher was born three months premature and weighted only 3.1 ounces. He had to fight for his life. My wife and I had been out to dinner and a movie that night, when suddenly about 3:00 am my wife woke up and had a severe abruption. Chris was coming into this world, we weren’t ready and neither was he.

Neither of us panicked, we jumped into our sports car and sped 12 miles to the Charlotte hospital, as fast as I Could, exceeding every speed limit, only slowing for stop signs then flying through them. I was in controlled panic (controlled panic: a good metaphor for starting my own business years later). It’s ironic but three weeks before this I spent a weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway learning how to performance drive my brand new Porsche convertible. I never thought I would ever need those skills…but life always throw us curves.

Well Lynne and I and our, ready or not arriving into the world now son got to the hospital in record time.  They put Lynne on a stretcher, quickly checked her out and saw she was delivering Chris…. right now!

Chris arrived premature, three pounds one ounce, struggling for life and air, but still alive. The nurses and doctor cleaned, wired and tubed him up and immediately put him into a waiting warm incubator and took him to the “Preemie Room.” We never even had the customary chance to hold him.  For the next 3 months Chris remained in the incubator on life support. We came every day, spent time with him and touched him through the incubator as he put on weight. As he added weight and got stronger we were allowed to take him out of his incubator. We held him and rocked him in the rocking chair in the room, experiencing him get strong and grow bigger.

Finally, after three months Chris grew from 3. 1 pounds to 5.1 pounds. When he broke the 5-pound mark we were finally able to bring him home. Chris is now healthy, over 6-foot-tall and a great son, who is thriving.

About 15 years after that night I abruptly left the corporate world. The analogy to Lynne’s abruption and my Corporate abrupt departure has not alluded me. In my case, like Chris, I was ready to launch a new life and I decided to bust out now, not later. Like Chris I decided now was my time to really come to life. I felt dead in a Corporate world, that no longer nourished me and no longer was big enough to hold me back. So without a plan and without ever looking back I left the security of the corporate womb, where I spent my life till then and launched a new life and my own business.

The womb was Chris’s incubator and Chris’s support system. And the Corporate world of 20 years was my Womb and Support center. A support center that could no longer hold me, just as Chris’s could no longer hold him. With a quick abruption we were both set free.

I now believe that a support system and an incubator is what every entrepreneur needs when he decides to live fully and leave the comfortable, but small womb he or she is in. If you are going to become all you can be and bring your new business, your child into this world, you need to do it abruptly. If not you will get comfortable, lazy and never be fully alive and born.

But when you come out you are going to have to create a new support system. You cannot successfully build a successful business, or life for that matter, by yourself. So I always help those I mentor build a support system to nurture them and their business.

So how do you build a support system, an incubator or nourishing group? Well, some large colleges have business incubators, but that is not available to most new entrepreneurs. And frankly when you are launching your own business, you need to be on your own, but have a support network, to help you navigate your new world.

You need to be the one in front, thinking on your own. But, and this is a very big BUT, you do need a support network. You need an incubator group. Or like I have you need a Mastermind group. You need experienced people to provide all the things you by yourself cannot afford to pay for, or do on your own yet.

When Chris abruptly arrived Lynne and I were not ready. In his delicate, live or not live stage he needed a team. He needed people with experience, with resources, knowledge, been there done it people. He needed professionals. He needed people who could see the big picture. Lynne and I were too emotionally involved to make good decisions. The doctors and nurses, his support system, were focusing on the solutions. The ways to get him healthy and on his own. As parents Lynne and I were emotional and worried and focusing on the problem, not the solution as his professional network was.

If you have a few hundred thousand to start your business…congratulations! But, what can you do to get the support you need, the resources you need, if you have only a little cash to start your own business?  How can you get free or low-cost resources today? When I launched my first business 15 years ago I had to self-fund. There were hardly any internet companies that provide free or low cost support like there are today. Today is the best time ever to create a new business. There are resources and networks to help you launch your own business today.

While today I now spend my time coaching and mentoring I still start businesses. The business’ I launch now however are non-profits. One is Green Pets America Charities and the other is Meals Fur Pet Whole Foods Market Store. Since they are non-profits capital is limited. So for the support we need I use the following free to low-cost service supporters: We use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to spread our marketing message. I use Squirrly free edition for my SEO for my blog site. My last three logos I did with Fiverr. I got great original logo designs for only $25.00 each. I use Fiverr for other outsourcing, marketing or creative needs as well. I use WordPress.org which is free, but with that version I do have to pay for hosting. I chose Blue Host, a bit pricey, but it is worth it. If you are starting out, or are very small you can self-host with WordPress.com however.

I am also an author and I use low-cost services to publish my books on Amazon with Create Space, an Amazon Company.

Also, I belonged to toastmaster for a few years. I did that to practice my public speaking.

And I launched a Mastermind Group to brainstorm with other entrepreneurs. We feed off of each other’s thought and ideas. If you are not familiar with Mastermind then buy the classic book, Think & Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. Think & Grow Rich is about how the richest people in the beginning of the Industrial Age made their fortunes. Hint they built networks of like-minded entrepreneurs and shared openly their expertise. Today everyone wants to do it alone…what a sad mistake.Thank-and-Grow-Rich-Cover

So to recap:

  • In starting and running your own business you need a support system, an incubator if you will, when you decide to live fully and leave the comfortable, but small womb you are presently in. If you are going to become all you can be and bring your new business into this world you need to be your own boss.
  • You need an experienced Mentor. You cannot build a successful business, or life for that matter, by yourself. Seek out a mentor, or coach.
  • Join a Mastermind Group. If there is none around you start one yourself. Read Think & Grow Rich and learn how to create a group.
  • Don’t spend money like a drunken sailor when you start your business. Get free to low-cost resources. Use ones like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to spread your marketing message. Try the Squirrly free edition for SEO. Try Fiverr for many outsource needs. Use WordPress.com which is free or WordPress .com which requires a hosting company.
  • I am also an author and publisher. I use the Amazon and Create Space to publish my own books and those of a select groups of clients. I feel self-publishing is the best and least expensive way to go today. And publishing a book is a great way to market yourself and your new company.
  • Join a local Toastmasters group to learn how to speak in public. If you cannot speak comfortably at business meetings, network groups, events or seminars you will never reach your potential in business. Toastmasters will teach you to overcome your fear of public speaking.
  • Finally, lose your ego. Use your brains AND your heart. Help others as you help yourself. Build others up as you build your business up. I believe that in Life and in Business we are all in this together. Your life and your business is not a trivial thing. Fight for it daily.

 “We will all succeed together, or we will all fail separately”

If you have questions on starting a business, getting outsourced support, creating a Mastermind Group, joining a Toastmaster Group, or Publishing your first book, drop me a note.


All the best, Steve Monahan

Email: Steven@StevenMonahan.com

StevenMonahan.com –   GreenPetsAmerica.org

What My 3 Pound Preemie Son Taught Me About Starting a Business


10 most critical questions to starting your business

When clients come to us to help them start their business, the first question I ask them is this: What is your Brand? It’s interesting that most want-to-be entrepreneurs cannot answer that critically decisive question: most just never thought about their “Brand”. I believe that it’s one of the reasons, 8 out of 10 businesses fail in the first year…they never figured out their brand before the money ran out.

I then explain that their Brand is a direct reflection of them, so before they start a business they really need to figure out what THEY want in life… and from that their business will be created. While this sounds deep for most, it’s not that hard to do with a third-party guiding you in asking the right questions and probing deeper your answers. The funny thing about us humans is generally our first two or three answers are not the real answers. It takes a few tries to get to the deeper roots of our psyche.

So we then start the process by simply discussing the questions, digging deep, and then writing down the answers to these 10 strategic questions.

  1. Why do you want to start your own business?

  2. Why did you choose this business particular type of business your thinking of starting?

  3. If you had $5 million in cash, is this the business you would still start?

  4. What do you want your life to be like daily, monthly, yearly and 5 years from now?

  5. Do you want this business solely for the money? Or because you love doing this, and want to do it daily?

  6. If you did not have to earn a living, what would you do and enjoy daily?

  7. What are your 5 best skill?

  8. What are your 5 worst skills?

  9. List 5 values that drive your life.

  10. List your 5 most important beliefs.

These answers then help them… perhaps for the first time, think about what they really want to do with their life. When they understand that their business is not separate from their life, but a very real part of their life, they get how important choosing the right business is so important.

Now, when we confirm after this 10 step process, that this is indeed the business they want to launch, we come to the fun part; creating their unique Brand.

To learn the 10 steps to creating a unique, world-class brand, just  give us a call.

Before we end, Let’s be clear on this thing we call a “Brand”. You cannot fake a brand. The lifestyle you want decides your business and who you are drives your brand.

Don’t start a business, until you determine the lifestyle you want to live… and the business and the Brand you will build to live it.


steven monahan




V W and GM Machiavelli Management School

Welcome to the V W and GM Machiavelli Management School

Before we start this article I want to give you a quick definition of Machiavellian. It is the employment of cunning and duplicity in one’s general conduct.

Machiavellian is also a term that some social and personality psychologists use to describe a person’s tendency to be unemotional, and therefore able to detach him or herself from conventional morality and hence to deceive and manipulate others

The word comes from the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer Niccolò Machiavelli. In modern psychology, Machiavellian is one of the dark triad personalities, characterized by a duplicitous interpersonal style, a cynical disregard for morality and a focus on self-interest and personal gain.

OK now back to the article on what I believe is concerning, Machiavelli Corporate Management. I enjoy following the business news. Although I am now a writer and author, my 30 years of corporate life still pulses through my blood. Corporations are the driving force in our global economy. Our lifestyles would be dramatically lessened without the ideas and abilities they have to deliver ever useful product, services and ideas.

Corporations are woven deeply into our daily life fabric and we cannot look at them simply as them, corporations and us, consumers. What corporations do in America and globally impact us all greatly. If they grow, we grow. If they do great things we are impacted. If they do stupid things, or worse yet malevolent things we are impacted financially and morally as well.

I don’t know if corporate CEO’s and their senior management are getting more malevolent, cunning and duplicitous the past 5 years, or are they just getting caught more. Let me illustrate that rather harsh statement with three major stories in point, in reading just yesterday’s business news. This is just one day’s news!

The duplicitous actions of V W to a purposely design software to dramatically cheat on emissions and as a byproduct load carbons into the air of everyone above legal standards. Why? To sell more V W diesel cars and make more profit of course. V W CEO Martin Winterkorn apologized, and said he would look into it. There will be hand wringing and expensive suits, but in the end V W, as all other major corporate players, will not explain why they did it, will pay a billion dollar plus fine, then go back to their Machiavellian ways of doing business….as usual.

The second story yesterday in the press was the $900 Million fine placed on GM for purposely and knowingly shipping their shiny new cars with bad ignition switches to millions of American and global consumers. Ignition switches that they knew for years, killed men, women and teenagers. They apologized, paid money and went back to their Machiavellian business school tactics. So much for an organization we all know and trust. Don’t they realize their actions have impact on lives and the very moral fabric we all are a part of? Don’t they realize the impact to consumers trust in them? Are men, women and children less important than yearly bonus’money?  The answer it seems is no. As the definition of Machiavelli says…. People who are able to detach themselves from conventional morality and hence to deceive and manipulate others.

The third Bad actor from the Machiavelli school of acting normal while lying was a smaller corporate player. It seems Machiavelli lives in small medium and large corporations. This corporate bad actor, the CEO was told his company’s peanut butter was infected with salmonella. You know the salmonella that kills people. He was told it was already packed and in the jars, ready to ship to consumers…and schools. His managers asked him what they should do. His answer…ship it. He said he could not lose another customer… so ship it. He knew kids in schools across America ate it for lunch and would become sick and some would die. Did he care? No.

Now you may think that Machiavellian thinking is rare and only a few bad CEO’s and corporations do it. You would be wrong. It is prevalent in the workplace. There are even regular studies on it. Machiavellian in the workplace.

Here is a quick research piece I clipped from Wikipedia today as part of my research for this article.

Machiavellian in the workplace is the employment of cunning and duplicity in a business setting. It is an increasingly studied phenomenon. The root of the concept of Machiavellian is the book The Prince by Machiavelli which lays out advice to rulers how to govern his or her subjects. Machiavellian has been studied extensively over the past 40 years as a personality characteristic that shares features with manipulative leadership tactics. It has in recent times been adopted and applied to the context of the workplace and organizations by many writers and academics. The Machiavellian typically only manipulates on occasions where it is necessary to achieve the required objectives.

Oliver James identifies Machiavellian as one of the dark triadic personality traits in the workplace, the others being narcissism and psychopathy. A new model of Machiavellian based in organizational settings consists of three factors: maintaining power, harsh management tactics and manipulative behaviors

The presence of Machiavellian in an organization has been positively correlated with counterproductive workplace behavior and workplace deviance.

Although Machiavelli management was created in the Renaissance era, it is unfortunately still alive and well in the 21st century. If the outcome of this duplicitous moral behavior was just the manipulation of money to protect corporate profits that would be one thing. But by allowing and therefore accepting this deviant behavior style of leadership to continue… when we are supposed to be intelligently more evolved, it is damming to our moral fabric and psyche. It is impacting our workplace. It is killing men, women and children for year end bonus money! We are fish swimming in Machiavelli polluted waters and we cannot see it.

Author, Steven Monahan @StevenMonahan.com

Goals. 7 Steps to Achieve Every Goal You Set

Goals are the “fuel” that you use to live your life by.  Some of your goals are very large, critically important, strategic and long-term. While your other goals are small, easy, every day and short-term.

No matter their focus however you must have them in your life. Goals are the structure of life. Without goals there is no structure, no direction, no purpose and nothing to motivate you to be a functioning human being. If you have no goals you will simply follow others, and fall for the next scheme society tells you to follow.

I believe deeply, as did Ralph Waldo Emerson in Self-Reliance. My publishing firm even republished it for others to read and become self-reliant as well .One of his strongest and bluntest quotes by Emerson on self-reliance is very clear on the importance of being self-reliant in this world.

Nature suffers nothing to remain in her kingdom which cannot help itself.

We cannot be self-reliant if we do not take control of our destiny. We cannot control our destiny if we cannot control, and set the course for our own life. And we cannot do that unless we set goals for our life, and move forward every day towards their achievement.

So, if you also believe as I do in self-reliance, and you want to control your own life, not allowing your boss or others to do it, you need to decide what you want, set a goal to achieve it, and an action plan to achieve the goal. We go back to what I laid out in the opening. You need to decide what you want short-term or long-term and set goals to “fuel” you towards them.

So let’s start then. Setting the goal is easy. Achieving it however takes energy and persistence. It is much simpler than you think however.

I have broken goals and achieving them into 7 simple steps. Follow these steps and you will always achieve your goals. Don’t follow them and you won’t…it’s up to you.

  1. Set the Goal.
  2. List 5 or more things you will do daily to achieve your goal.
  3. Do those things daily.
  4. Don’t focus daily on the Goal.
  5. Focus only on the actions you listed
  6. Don’t measure yourself by where you are towards your goal.
  7. Measure yourself only on how you are following each action, each day.

I know this all sounds simple..but it really is. The “point is in the action, not in the goal”. Lets say you want to lose 10 pounds in 60 days. That is your goal. As soon as you set that goal you list 5 or more things you will do as “actions” to achieve your goal. They could be, Stop drinking soda and sugar drinks, stop eating fast food for 60 days, exercise for 1 hour every day for 60 days, read books about exercise and eating well for 60 days ,and perhaps cut your meal portions by 30 percent for 60 days.

Now, if you focus on the “actions” and not the “goal” of loosing 10 pounds you will probably achieve the goal. But, if like most people you focus on the weight …the goal itself…you won’t. Why, because in three days after you set the goal and have started doing the 5 things you will weigh yourself. And you may not have lost an ounce. You will get discouraged. You will beat yourself up mentally. Your mood will become negative and not positive as when you first set the goal and you may give up in 3 days.

But if you set goals in life, list what you will do to achieve them and then simply go about doing them eventually with persistence and the passing of time you will achieve them. So in recap; focus on actions and not on goals. When you create and achieve your goals you will become the maker of your life. You will become self-reliant. And you will build a purposeful life.

Failure Success and becoming Wealthy

Interested in becoming wealthy?

“Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” Napoleon Hill

In 1923, Babe Ruth broke the record for most home runs in a season. That same year, he also broke the record for highest batting average.Babe-ruth

There is a third record he broke that year that most people don’t know about. In 1923, Babe Ruth struck out more times than any other player in Major League Baseball.

Babe Ruth was not afraid to strike out. And it was this fearlessness that contributed to his remarkable career.

If you want to create an outstanding career, create fabulous wealth and stand above the masses, you have to be fearless and swing for the furthest goal you can imagine. You will of course miss at times, but eventually you will succeed. This is a book on becoming wealthy.